Yellowstone National Park officials are seeing some benefits from their decision two years ago to pick up eight wolf pups after their father was killed outside the park.
Park officials said all four of the female wolves in the litter gave birth to pups in and around Yellowstone this spring.
“I don’t know of any more telling evidence that we made the right decision, even though we were criticized for being heavy-handed at the time,” park biologist Mike Phillips said. “It has really played out better than anyone anticipated.”
The eight pups were born to two of the Canadian wolves released in the park in 1995. The two wolves wandered north out of the park toward Red Lodge, Mont.
The male was killed by a man who was later convicted of illegally killing a wolf. The female gave birth to eight pups on the outskirts of Red Lodge.
The litter was the first born to any of the wolves transplanted in Yellowstone as part of the federal effort to restore wolves in the northern Rockies.
As a result, biologists captured the mother and her pups and moved them to a pen in the park, releasing them later in the year. The pups from the litter are now two years old.
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